Japanese crypto scammers appear to be getting younger – with police reporting they have arrested an 18-year-old on suspicion of attempting to dupe a man almost three times his age out of over $17,000.
Per Jomo News, Maebashi Police Station, which reports to the Gunma Prefectural Police Force, arrested an 18-year-old male restaurant employee in Takasaki, Gunma. The employee was charged with fraud-related offenses.
The police told the media outlet that the 18-year-old approached his intended victim – described as a 50-year-old man – in a public parking lot in Takasaki back in March this year. The teenager told the man than if he were to hand over $17,300, he would be guaranteed to make “x100” profit on the investment. The teen stated that he would use the money to invest in an unnamed token and also “guaranteed” that the $17,300 stake would not be lost.
This initial approach did not convince the older man. But the 50-year-old appears to have handed over his telephone number – or the youth already had the number – as the teenager then continued to attempt to contact his would-be victim.
Police explained that the youth called the 50-year-old on three occasions, attempting to convince the man to transfer $17,300 into the teenager’s bank account.
The man eventually appears to have had enough – and called the police, who arrested the teenager on October 5. The case has been referred to the prosecution service.
Teenage Crypto Fraudster: Criminals Getting Younger?
Crypto fraud has been on the rise in Japan in recent years, with a growing number of fraudsters targeting would-be victims aged 50-69. However, the fraudsters have usually been older individuals attempting to trick people their own age out of money. The Takasaki case is remarkable for bucking this trend.
Last year, police in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, handed out awards to three convenience store workers who they believed stepped in to prevent potential crypto scams. The workers called police to notify them about potential victims who were about to fall prey to crypto scammers.